I can't say I'm bored. More precisely, I'm feeling restless and unmotivated. I don't really want to read; I don't want to post about anything meaningful; it's too late to go to the opera; and I'm not about to pay for cinema tickets out here, except maybe for X-Men III when it comes out. So, I present you with another meme.
Usually, for this meme, a script randomly chooses 10 interests from your Interests list, but the script chose boring interests. Sure, they are interests of mine…but, really, who wants to read about why html, php, linux, and web design (4 of the 10 randomly chosen for me) are of interest to me?! Thus, I asked plumtreeblossom to choose 10 items of interest to her. If you leave a comment, I will do the same for you: I will choose 10 items from your interests list for you to use in posting this meme.
Now, without further ado:
- astronomy — I used to want to be an astronomer—a cosmologist, precisely, studying the origins and evolution of the universe. In addition to popular science books such as those by Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, I read college-level texts on astronomy in elementary school. I was a founding member of the Panama Canal Astronomy Club. I loved gazing up at the night sky. I would stay up at night trying to put together theories, composed of complex algebra (hey, I was a kid and didn't know calculus yet) and diagrams applying Keppler's Laws, of how galaxies or black holes might come about. One of the most disappointing moments of my childhood was when I had a chance to meet Carl Sagan but my mom forgot and was out shopping with the car, so I wasn't able to get to the star party before he left. I did not give up on wanting to be an astronomer until in high school I visited Mt. Laguna Observatory as part of a San Diego County after-school honors program and saw that the astronomers never looked in the telescope but rather spent all their time crunching numbers. This experience sapped all the romance out of astronomy and ended my dream.
- boardgames — I love playing board games. A lot of adults think this is cheesy, but they're missing out on so much fun. I especially like Cities and Knights of Catan, Trivial Pursuit, and Wise and Otherwise.
- dmitri shostakovich — A Soviet Neo-Classicist composer and one of the giants of twentieth century music. His music is powerful, emotional, unique, and vibrant. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not abandon Classical form; instead, he tapped into a font of expressivity within Classicism's somewhat restrictive conventions. Shostakovitch favorites are his Fifth Symphony, his Cello Concerto, and his String Quartets; I'm also looking forward to seeing a couple of his operas at the Coliseum this summer.
- flirting — I used to be very shy. I still am sometimes. But I forced myself to break out of my shell, and I discovered I like flirting. I flirt best when I'm not really interested, of course; it's a lot like acting in a way, and it's fun, for me and, if done right, for the flirtee. Alas, I have been known to go too far; in those cases, a gentle nudge is usually enough to get me to rein it in.
- languages — I grew up bilingual, having learned Spanish first and then picking up English in preschool. I've always had an interest in languages. In elementary school and junior high school, I tried to learn Japanese on my own. I never became fluent but found I could more or less get by in Japan. (Of course, since my trip in 1990, I have forgotten almost all my Japanese.) I studied German in college. As a classical singer, I've picked up a smattering of German, French, Italian, and Latin. I also know random phrases here and there in Russian, Zulu, Chinese, Polish, Czech, Bangla, Greek, and Portuguese. I once sang a song in Lithuanian but remember none of it.
- musicals — I pass the "Clang clang clang" test! I love musicals. (Well, recent musicals are mostly crap—you can't simply compile Abba, Billy Joel, or Queen hits, add staging, and call it a musical!) One of my favorite experiences growing up was playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, even if Panamanian elections forced the show to close the night before opening. I will always be pissed at my high school for not staging a musical while I was there; in fact, I almost gave up the stage entirely because of my high school drama department. When I lived in Boston, I tried to listen to WERS's "Standing Room Only" every Saturday from 10 to 2. My favorite musical is Man of La Mancha— I feel in many ways that I am Alonzo Quijana. Other favorites include Moulin Rouge, Ragtime, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, West Side Story, Oklahoma!, and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
- plate tectonics — In college I developed an interest in geology and thought seriously of double-majoring. (Then, music being my other major, I could claim I was a rock musician!) The second course in the geology major was taught by Tekla Harms, one of the best professors at Amherst. She really made the subject matter, plate tectonics, come to life. The idea that our earth is this giant engine with plates floating on top of warm goo, colliding with each other, sinking under or rising over each other (with the occasional hot spot poking through in the middle of a plate), affecting geography, weather, everything really, is utterly fascinating to me. Alas, when I took my third geology course, I realized that it wasn't geology so much as tectonics itself that interested me.
- pugs — A few years ago I decided I wanted to be a dog owner. I'd lived with cats practically my whole life and hadn't had a dog since I was a little kid. My favorite dog is probably the black lab, but I live in a city, where there's not a lot of open space, and I'm often away from home. It would be cruel to the dog to own a black lab under such conditions. If I was going to own a dog, small was the way to go. And the pug is so adorable! I quickly fell for them. Alas, though, I discovered I have dog allergies, and that was the final nail in my dog ownership coffin. When I'm ready to be a pet ownee again, I will put myself in the care of the noble feline.
- single-malt scotch — I love single-malt Scotch. (This probably explains why I prefer stouts and porters as well.) I love the smokey and peaty complexities of flavor and bouquet. And I love the unique character of the single malts as opposed to the homogeneity of blends.
- winemaking — Growing up I always heard about the wines my dad made, so I was curious. A couple of years ago I decided to try it out. I decided I could buy a much better grape wine than I could possibly make and at lower cost, so I decided I would make wines only from other fruit. My first wine was a jalapeño wine; a resounding success, it tastes like a very spicy chablis. My other two wines have not made it into the bottle. The blueberry wine is probably drinkable; the apple, probably trash. When I establish where my permanent home is, I may take it up again, as winemaking is a lot of fun, requires creativity, and isn't labor intensive (as the yeasties do most of the work).